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Int J Cancer. 1999 Apr 12;81(2):219-24.

Genetic pattern of prostate cancer progression.

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Department of Pathology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 78284-7750, USA.


Genetic alterations in primary prostate cancer (CaP) have been extensively studied, yet little is known about the genetic mechanisms underlying progression of primary CaP to metastatic prostate cancer. As a result, it is not possible to distinguish clinically indolent localized disease from potentially life-threatening tumors with high metastatic potential. To address this question, we collected tissue from 34 autopsy-derived metastases, samples rarely analyzed in previous studies. These were compared to a separate set of 17 prostatectomy specimens containing 22 foci of CaP associated with 49 examples of high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), a histological precursor of CaP. We compared the loss of heterozygosity (LOH) profiles of high-grade PIN, primary CaP and metastases by analyzing 33 microsatellite markers previously found to have high frequencies of LOH in primary CaP. These markers were on chromosomes 5q, 6q, 7q, 8p, 9p, 10q, 11p, 13q, 16q, 17, 18q and 21q. In addition, markers on chromosomes 4p, 11q, 14q and 20q with no reported LOH in primary CaP were analyzed to determine the frequency of background LOH. In PIN lesions, the rate of LOH was significant only at D5S806 (20%) and D16S422 (29%). In addition, different PIN lesions within the same prostate gland were genetically diverse, indicating divergent evolution of synchronous neoplastic precursor lesions. LOH frequency was progressively higher in primary CaP and metastatic lesions. In primary CaP, significant losses occurred at the 8p, 10q, 11p, 16q, 17p, 18q and 21q loci (range 17-43%). Distinct patterns of LOH frequencies were observed in primary CaP compared with metastases. Although some loci (D16S422, D17S960, D21S156) showed similar frequencies of LOH in primary CaP and metastatic CaP, most other loci showed up to 7-fold metastasis-related increases. The metastatic samples revealed previously unrecognized prostate cancer LOH at D5S806, D6S262, D9S157, D13S133 and D13S227. These significant stage-specific differences in LOH frequency specify genetic loci that may play key roles in CaP progression and could represent clinically useful biomarkers for CaP aggressiveness.

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